Article Trunk

Istanbul Holidays Help You Explore the Sultan Ahmed Mosque

09.19.2019 · Posted in Writing and Speaking
<*** class="wp-block-image">

Istanbul, a transcontinental city located in Turkey, is the historic, cultural, and economic centre of the country. It spans the continents of Europe and Asia with the Bosporus strait as the connecting point. Most of the city’s population resides on the Asian side, while the European part is a major commercial and historic centre. Istanbul was founded as Byzantion in the 7th century BCE when the region was a Greek colony. You’ll come across several historical buildings while exploring this part of Turkey and most of them were built during the times when the city was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

One such majestic structure you’ll get to explore during your Istanbul holidays is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is popularly called the ‘Blue Mosque’. The nickname refers to the blue shades that dominate the interiors and exteriors of the structure. Constructed during the 17th century when the region was under the reign of the Ottoman Sultan, Ahmed I, it still functions as a mosque and also attracts a large number of tourists. This mosque is a part of a large complex that comprises Sultan Ahmed’s tomb, a Quranic school or ‘madrasah’, and a hospice. It has been built next to another major attraction of the city, Hagia Sophia, also known as ‘Aya Sofya’.

The origins of this mosque can be traced back to the early 17th century when Sultan Ahmed I had ended his war with the Habsburg Monarchy with a peace treaty and suffered defeat in his war with Persia later on. He wanted to reassert the power of the Ottoman Empire and decided to construct a massive mosque in Istanbul. It was to become the first imperial mosque. As he didn’t have many victories, he used funds from the kingdom’s treasury unlike his predecessors, who had used the spoils of war to build their mosques.

You’ll get to witness the five main domes, eight secondary domes, and six minarets upon visiting this magnificent mosque. It combines a few design elements of the neighbouring Aya Sofya and the traditional Islamic architecture. The renowned architect Sedefkar Mehmed Aga used some of the ideas of his master, Mimar Sinan, while working towards the grandeur, majesty, and splendour of this structure. Among the prominent features of the mosque is a special area for performing ablutions and a big fountain in the middle.

While exploring this mosque, you’ll also witness the magnificence of its upper area, which is made up of 20,000 ceramic tiles. Each of these tiles has about 60 tulip designs. There are 200 stained glass windows in the lower area, which allow natural light into the interiors of the mosque. Much of the lighting today is enhanced by the chandeliers. On these chandeliers are ostrich eggs placed for repelling spiders and avoiding them from creating cobwebs. Verses from the Quran have also been included in the decorations of this mosque. Many of them were created by a renowned calligrapher known as Seyyid Kasim Gubari, who was also noted for his poetic writings.

Comments are closed